(1) Yale student architect, Maya Lin, entered and won a contest to design a Vietnam War memorial in Washington, D.C. Her design was relatively minimalistic and modern when compared to what we histori
Yale student architect, Maya Lin, entered and won a contest to design a Vietnam War memorial in Washington, D.C. Her design was relatively minimalistic and modern when compared to what we historically think of as war memorials. There were no large statues, figures of soldiers, or depictions of battle. Instead, the fallen and missing names were imprinted on black walls that cascaded into the ground. This design was not universally well received. Some thought that the lack of personal depiction of the soldiers, and the use of black instead of white marble, showed a disdain for the war and it’s participants. As a result, a more traditional memorial was eventually erected nearby in addition to Lin’s.
The memorial in my area was also for the Vietnam War, though it had little in common with Lin’s memorial. The memorial, located in Cincinnati’s Eden Park, features a statue of two soldiers in uniform. Below the statues, the platform features a dedication in marble to all branches of the US military and a map of the Vietnam region. Cincinnati’s memorial is much smaller in size than the one in Washington D.C., and doesn’t invite the same level of interaction, however it is still an impactful piece of art that forces you to contemplate the loss of life during the war.
Boccioni’s sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space looks forward and not to the past in the way that Cincinnati’s Vietnam War Memorial does. The figure in Boccioni’s war pushes onward forcefully to the future. The figure does not stop to contemplate history, loss, or politics; iis an ode to progress and invention. By contrast, The War Memorial depics to soldiers in a moment of pause. One puts his hand on the other’s solder for support. They are not progressing forward, simply frozen in a moment in time. This artwork wants us to pause and look backwards, not to rush madly forward.
I believe that Lins Vietnam War memorial was considered controversial was because of the lack of personal aspects. No statues or figures were used to show the fallen only names printed into brick. I visited the Vietnam War memorial in Midland Texas. At this memorial there were Multiple aspects shown. Unlike Lin’s memorial there were Statues and figures to show the fallen. I felt like this memorial was more personal rather than Lin’s where there were just name and no statues or figures.Wohaws drawing glorified the war while the memorial I visited was honoring the people who fought and the people who were lost during the war. Weather it was glorified or just for Remembrance both memorials were made to look back at the war everyone went through.
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